Curry plans to meet with union about JEA sale

Source: David Bauerlein and Nate Monroe, Florida Times-Union, February 27, 2018

Mayor Lenny Curry plans to meet with the union that represents JEA linemen, a vocal group that has led the charge against privatizing JEA. Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, dressed in red shirts and carrying “JEA is Not for Sale” signs, have packed City Hall chambers whenever the idea has come up for public discussion. Curry’s meetings with the IBEW and other groups will unfold while a special City Council committee meets to examine the ramifications of selling JEA. … The IBEW is one of five unions representing JEA workers. Curry’s office responded to a question about other unions by referring to a statement that he would be reaching out to “all stakeholders” about JEA’s future. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees generally opposes privatization, but the union hasn’t take a position yet with respect to JEA, said Mark Jordan, regional coordinator for AFSCME. …


JEA Privatization Uniquely More Complicated Than Other Efforts Around The State
Source: Ryan Benk, WJCT, December 6, 2017

Following a regular board meeting that saw departing member Tom Petway charge his soon-to-be former colleagues with exploring privatization, JEA’s board chair is calling for a swift examination of the utility’s assets. … Should the board and Jacksonville’s political leaders decide privatization is the right path, JEA would not be the first municipal utility to do so in Florida. In fact, there are even examples of voters deciding to go the opposite direction: From private to public. Still, according to one expert, the massive tentacles of JEA’s electric grid, water service and sewer system — which serve more than 450,000 electric, 337,000 water and 261,000 sewer customers in Northeast Florida — would represent one of the largest and most complicated such conversions in Florida’s history. … After a lengthy 2012 exploration of JEA’s assets and the logistics of the city splitting with the utility, the decision was ultimately made to shelve the privatization idea. The last time an audit of JEA’s value was conducted in 2007, it was pinpointed at $2 billion as a municipal utility and more than $3 billion if it went private.

… Most recently, Winter Park successfully booted Progress Energy (now Duke Energy) and municipalized. Meanwhile voters in South Daytona Beach rejected a similar effort to turn their utility public. Kurry said data on customer satisfaction is mixed. Winter Park voters are generally happier with their choice and so are those in South Daytona Beach. … Just as murky as ratepayer views on service quality, customer perception of pricing fairness is mixed across the sector. …